According to a local newspaper article, Oostanaula United Methodist Church was once a tiny congregation in comparison to others around Floyd County. At one time it only had five members who attended, and pastors came from other churches to conduct ceremonies. However, the church is breathing new life into the 144 year old structure on Battey Farm Road as their congregation has grown from that tiny number to an average of 60-70 people attending on Sunday mornings.
According to the Methodist archives “Indenture was made November 29, 1871 by Solomon L. and Joanna E. Pope, formerly of Crawford in the state of Georgia. Charter members were Jonathon Cowan, Caleb White, Marcellus L. Troutman, Hnery B. Pope, Andrew J. Watters, James S. Troutman and S. J. Henley, Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Pope”. The Pope family donated the land for the church and cemetery. Local history tells us that Solomon and Joanna were also related to Joanna Troutman Pope, known as the “Betsy Ross of Texas” as well as the “Lady of Goliad”.
In 1850, the seventeen year old daughter of Colonel and Mrs. Hiram Baldwin Troutman, fashioned the Texas Lone Star Flag from her silk skirts. In 1835, 150 middle Georgia soldiers marched to Texas to assist in the fight against Mexico. When they passed through Knoxville, Joanna presented the flag to Colonel William Ward on the steps of the Troutman Inn, later known as the Harris Hotel. The flag flew during the battle of Goliad and later was recognized as Texas’ official flag. Joanna is buried in Austin, Texas, next to a bronze figure of herself, sculpted by Pompeo Coppini.